Friday, March 1, 2013

First ABA Session Left A Lot To Be Desired...

Violet's PECS Board

Ok, so I had high hopes I suppose, we have been waiting 9 months to start, but I feel really disappointed. Violet started ABA today and we got into the place, all was fine, she was happy. Well, we shook hands with the woman doing her therapy and she lead us into her office. When Violet is in a new place it takes her time to take it all in, and she doesn't like to be put on the spot, especially from people she doesn't know. I was told that today would just be a half hour of introduction and we could talk about scheduling and I could ask questions etc.

Well...she just jumped right in, we had literally just shut the door and she was pulling apart a puzzle and telling Violet to put the pieces in. Of course Violet wanted nothing to do with it, she hadn't even had a moment to look around. So Violet sits down beside me and starts scanning the walls. So then she pulls out bubbles, nope. Then she pulls out the iPad, well of course Violet likes the iPad because she uses it at home. Problem is, the therapist just wanted her to say what was in the picture, not to go to other apps. Yeah, so Violet says "pig" all pissed off because she can't play with the iPad and then she sits back down. So therapist gives her the iPad, and Violet starts scanning through her apps. So for some reason she only had like 10 kids apps, most of them not the full version, so she spent the next 10 minutes watching Violet click through the apps, trying to buy the full versions and having therapist say "no don't click that" and the frustration was just building, even for me! Buy the damn apps, they're like $2.00 maybe!!

So she gives up on the iPad, and asks me what my goals are. Well, I said Violet has no problem speaking, she knows many words, she knows what they mean but just doesn't speak in sentences, so my goal is to get Violet to communicate better I say. So she says to me "Well that's just autism, that's what it is, so that's like a life long goal" ...Ok, so I'm thinking what the hell are you good for?!

Anyways at this point Violet is pulling me toward the door and whining to get out, and therapist is saying "its too bad she can't tell you what she wants" and I'm like, ok well I can tell what she wants, she wants to go! She wanted to know what a motivation would be for her, like a food, and I don't really like the idea of using food to perform, to me its like training a dog and sets one up for food issues in life (just in my opinion) Its hard because what Violet likes one day, she won't like the next necessarily. I said I could bring pork rinds and bubbles, but that may or may not motivate her. She's not motivated by food.
Lastly I was explaining about how I use PECS with Violet and have drawn the cards and made a board and she's very good with it, saying what each card is when she hands it to us now and has become more verbal because of it. Well therapist says that I should use Proloquo2Go on her own dedicated iPad. Like I'm supposed to buy her another iPad??!! And then pay $200 for the app, I dont think so. And why would I want her to use an app which communicates for her when she is already speaking what is on her cards? So I said that was not my goal, I want her to verbalize, not to use the computer. OK. So the last thing she says to me is that she can put together a proper PECS board for me, with actual pictures of things on a nice board. Are you kidding me? My board is nice. Is it not better that Violet is able to recognize drawn pictures representing things, rather than the actual thing, its abstract thinking and using her imagination more?

This is so long winded, I just felt really let down after today, I hope it gets better. I just needed to vent, I just fear that Violet will lose her self confidence & happiness. She has been doing so amazingly well in my opinion for the last year. Frustrating.

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